Blog: Veterinary Questions and Answers

Have a question about your pets health? submit your questions. info@monroviapet.com

Veterinary Questions and Answers

My veterinarian has diagnosed my dog with periodontal disease. What is it and what should I do for my dog?

Periodontal disease is the inflammation of the tissues surrounding a tooth. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to severe oral pain, loss of teeth, other dental diseases and a wide array of complications throughout the body.

Periodontal Disease in Dogs: Periodontal disease is a gradual process that begins with the formation of plaque on the teeth. Bacteria in the mouth form plaque, a bacterial film that adheres to the teeth. Next, minerals in saliva harden the plaque into dental tartar (calculus), which becomes firmly attached to teeth. The plaque and tartar, both of which contain bacteria, spread under the gum line.

Signs of Periodontal Disease in Dogs: The signs of periodontal disease depend upon the severity of the disease. The first thing most people will notice is halitosis. Dogs are not supposed to have bad breath. This is a sign of dental disease that should be addressed right away with your veterinarian.

Risks of Periodontal Disease in Dogs: Periodontal disease causes damage to gum tissue and bone around the teeth, leading to loss of these tissues. In addition, periodontal disease can also cause the following problems to occur in the mouth: Development of a hole (fistula) from the oral cavity into the nasal passages causing nasal discharge, weakening of the jaw bone that can lead to fractures and bone infection. It is important to understand that periodontal disease can lead to other major health problems throughout the body.

Treatment of Periodontal Disease in Dogs: The first treatment step is a professional dental cleaning by your veterinarian. This procedure must be done under general anesthesia.

Nicole Gueniat, DVM

Monrova Animal Medical Center

Have a question for Dr. Gueniat? Contact her at: info@monroviapet.com

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Citzen October 04, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Animal dental care is just insane. $400 to clean the teeth of a cat. I don't think so.. That is twice as much as it cost me for a blood transfusion for the cat with a hospital stay. Dogs I imagine are easier to clean their teeth and maybe it's not so expensive.
Monrovia Animal Medical Center October 04, 2012 at 11:21 PM
When an animal is having a surgical dental performed, a veterinarian must first exam the pet to determine if there are oral issues such as periodontal disease or extractions that may take place. A blood panel must be performed to determine the internal health of your pet to be sure the pet is healthy enough to go under anesthesia. This is generally included in the cost of the dental. In addition, your pet is monitored during the procedure just as you would be monitored if you were under anesthesia for a surgical procedure. IV fluids are administered during the procedure and pain management. Doctors will not put a human being under anesthesia without performing pre-surgery tests. It is no different for pets. They want to be sure you are healthy enough to be under anesthesia to prevent complications and there can be serious complications without knowing. You can't compare a blood transfusion to a surgical procedure, they are completely different medical procedures. There are non-anesthetic dental's for canines but your dog should be examined first to make sure they do not have periodontal disease or any bad teeth. It is less in cost than the surgical dental. If you brush your pets teeth at home on a regular basis it helps a great deal in keeping plaque and tarter down which are the real culprits in dental disease.
Citzen October 08, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I have cats. They are not as cooperative in general. In fact I have one now that has had to go for other treatments twice a week and now I can barely get near him. When I was put under for a dental procedure they did not do any test on me. They did ask some questions but did not do any test. They didn't even ask me when was the last time I had seen a doctor and I am no spring chicken. They did attach a stethoscope during the procedure. That is about it. I take it dogs are not less expensive then cats.
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